Title: Reign of Fire (2002)
Rating: 1 out of 5
Tagline: “Fight Fire With Fire.”
My Tagline: “Once again the U.S. has to pull the Brit’s chestnuts out of the fire.”
Favorite Quote: “Only one thing worse than a dragon…Americans.”
Plot Synopsis: The queen of the Borg disguises herself as a train excavator and accidentally breaks into the lair of a sleeping dragon. The dragon gets out and some serious shit does down. Many years later the queen’s son, Quinn, (Christian Bale) is leading a gang of humans who are hold up in a castle near London. (well, everywhere is near London when you’re on the British Isles) Some Kentucky bluegrass ass-clowns show up and their leader, Van Zan, (Matthew McConaughey) forces Quinn to allow them shelter within the castle so that they might tend to their vehicles. They have brought with them a helicopter, a tank, some various armored vehicles, and a bunch of Dixiecrats who like sticking their dicks where they don’t belong. As it turns out this intrusion is more than a mere a pit stop as the Americans hope to recruit soldiers who will ride with them to London in their quest to git-er-done. Quinn is resistant to the idea at first but later agrees to help Van Zan in a kind of covert-ops mission into London. Spoiler Alert! The humans win. The audience was shocked and amazed.
Review: I find this movie strange. I went in expecting it to be a little more of a standard monster movie. The dragons were supposed to show up and start knocking things down. There would be lots of explosions and fun stuff and eventually some humans would figure out how to stop them. I thought I was going to get to see London attacked and destroyed, I didn’t. I thought I was going to get to see all kinds of carnage and cool special effects but I didn’t. Instead what I got was a film that takes place many years after the dragon’s revival and the damage has already been done. The dragons hold dominance over the planet and all that remains of humanity are a few isolated pockets living out a bleak existence with almost no resources, a claustrophobic atmosphere, and tensions are running high as the human race barely clings to life. Not that there’s anything wrong with this approach of a focused perspective with a character driven storyline. In fact this approach allows for the potential to exist that the film could transcend mere entertainment and enter into the realm of legitimately great cinema. The problem is this movie ends up not being much of anything. As far as ascension into truly great film the movie’s odd choice to be a post-apocalyptic tale gave it potential but it clearly has nothing to say and nothing to teach us. It doesn’t take our primal instincts and juxtapose them to our ideals of so-called “civilization.” It doesn’t place a mirror to society’s face. It doesn’t force us to ask ourselves questions like, “Why exactly does the human race deserve to live?” It doesn’t use archetypes or ancient character dynamics to relate to us a tale that transcends all time and circumstance to touch each of us in some way. It’s not like “The Matrix” where we are watching the visual representation of one man’s path towards enlightenment. It’s really not much of anything. It’s not good enough to be legitimate, it’s not bad enough to be awful, its not fun enough to be fun-bad, and its not mindlessly entertaining enough for it be a good popcorn flick. There’s just no point to it at all. The movie can be best summed as Christian Bale and Matthew McConaughey don’t get along and then later they do. There’s some stuff where the humans do some of the stupidest things I’ve ever heard of but for the most part it’s Bale and McConaughey talking to each other. Now I happen to be a fan of Mr. Bale and remain mostly neutral towards Mr. McConaughey (I did like his character in this movie though) so watching these scornful studs doing their thing was okay by me but it hardly makes for a summer blockbuster. The film only had elements of several genres interspersed throughout leaving it on the whole incomplete. It would probably be a good novel or TV miniseries but the choice to make it a human life story instead of a human survival story while at the same time not being a fun popcorn flick leaves me suggesting that audiences simply steer clear. Unless you're a chick because let me tell ya those two just burn up the screen if you know what I mean.
By the time the Milky Way collides with Andromeda and a foreign star vaporizes our solar system Christian Bale will most likely be remembered as one of acting’s greats and there is little contesting that he and Christopher Nolan saved the Batman film franchise so watching him in this turd is a bit humorous. Matthew McConaughey on the other hand…well this is par for the course with him. (no mulligan for McConaughey) Everyone else in this movie just sucked donkey dong though. Oh, except for that hilarious kid in the middle of the first row during the Star Wars stage play. I love that kid. He was the funniest thing in the whole movie.
In the Future Humans are Retarded
Earlier I alluded to the fact that his film contains some of the most idiotic human behavior that has ever taken place in a movie. What I was referring to was the ridiculous way in which McConaughey’s group of soldiers take down a dragon. First they have to wait around while some members of their team set up some kind of vertical marker things so they can use a 3-D mapping system. Wouldn’t it be faster, safer, more reliable, and in every conceivable way make more sense to just use conventional radar? The helicopter is undoubtedly equipped with it and one of their armored vehicles had one so why not just use that? God that was so stupid! There’s no reason why the helicopter should have been taken by surprise. Radar sees through clouds you know! And then there was that whole concept of the Archangels who actually leap from the helicopter and try to ensnare a dragon in a net. That’s fucking retarded! And they use those flying squirrel suits. Yeah, when you’re an extreme sportsman and you’ve done the math for a specific location and you have a designated landing strip then the flying squirrel suit is pretty cool. But you can’t just drop from anywhere at any height and expect to have any success whatsoever. You’re going to die. And this is at a time when there’s hardly any humans left. You’re basically killing three humans to kill one dragon. Brilliant you guys, really. It’s crap like this that makes this movie irritating not enlightening or even entertaining.